Quick Tip: How I Organize Paperwork In the Van (Vanlife Manuals, Warranties, and All The Rest)

Usually, I’m all about going paper-free. My regular m.o. is to scan in every instruction manual or warranty (I’m a data hoarder), back it up to the web, and trash the rest. But with the van, I’m not confident enough to play that game.


I worry that I won’t have access to the cloud when I need it. That I’m too far from a tower, that satellites will be hit by meteors or that my carriers all give up on the same day…the very day I need to look up why power station is heating up or why the heater is going cold. For those reasons, I keep all the instructions close at hand with this:


This is your average 3-ring planner binder, about the size of my forearm (half-sheet size – the full was too large). The plastic inserts were less than $5 from Target. Any binder like this can be picked up from a thrift store for a couple of bucks.

Real talk: This has been a lifesaver for an anti-paper person like me.

It’s easy to maintain and neatly tucks away. And, yeah, I still scan all those things into the cloud, (data hoarder, remember) but more than one night of camping has been saved by having this on hand.

I hope this helps someone!

One response to “Quick Tip: How I Organize Paperwork In the Van (Vanlife Manuals, Warranties, and All The Rest)”

  1. That’s such a good idea, I usually have all my stuff at home but since I’ve been on the road it’s useful to have the fridge and solar panel manual at hand as I found out the other day.
    This was by accident as I’d stuffed them in the glove box.
    I live your idea much better.

    Liked by 1 person

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